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Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation: News in English, 03-04-04

Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation at <http://www.cybc.com.cy/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] HEADLINES
  • [02] IRAQ WRAP
  • [03] IRAQ MORE
  • [04] MIDEAST
  • [05] INDIA MING
  • [06] UN DENKTASH
  • [07] ANNAN PAPANTONIOU
  • [08] US DENKTASH
  • [09] DENKTASH NEW LETTER
  • [10] SRI LANKA ATTEMP MURDER
  • [11] WEATHER FRIDAY 4 APRIL 2003

  • [01] HEADLINES

    -- U.S. forces seized Baghdad international airport today, their biggest prize yet in a war to oust President Saddam Hussein, and panicked civilians fled into the city after a "night of hell".

    -- Iraqi television said today it would soon read out a statement to the nation by President Saddam Hussein.

    -- Israeli forces killed seven Palestinians in a fresh surge of violence in the West Bank and Gaza Strip today as the United States vowed to press ahead with a long-delayed "road map" for Middle East peace.

    -- At least five people were killed and two dozen injured when an Indian Air Force fighter jet crashed today into three houses in a village in the northern state of Punjab.

    And, -- The UN appeared rather indifferent to a package of measures Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash has proposed.

    [02] IRAQ WRAP

    U.S. forces seized Baghdad international airport today, their biggest prize yet in a war to oust President Saddam Hussein, and panicked civilians fled into the city after a "night of hell".

    Saddam International Airport, taken on day 16 of the war, was a key objective for U.S. forces, who can use it as a forward base in any battle for the sprawling city of five million people.

    Colonel John Peabody, commander of the Engineer Brigade of the 3rd Infantry Division, told Reuters that the runway was in good condition.

    Civilians trying to escape the fighting around the airport, just 20 km southwest of the city centre, fled into Baghdad in vehicles piled high with blankets and possessions.

    Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri said Saddam was alive despite widespread speculation in the West that he may have been killed or wounded in U.S. and British air strikes.

    The U.S. military said 320 Iraqi soldiers had been killed in fighting for the airport. Dozens of Iraqi troop carriers, trucks and anti-aircraft guns had been captured or destroyed.

    U.S. troops later fought off an Iraqi counterattack, with Bradley fighting vehicles firing heavy machineguns and TOW missiles to halt four Soviet-era T-72 tanks, a T-62 and other vehicles.

    U.S. Central Command said U.S. and British planes had bombed Iraqi Air Force headquarters in central Baghdad.

    For the first time since the conflict began on March 20, city power went off late on Thursday, plunging Baghdad into darkness and silencing loudspeakers that call Muslims to pray. U.S. officials denied they targeted power supplies.

    Dozens of Iraqis, mostly soldiers, were killed in the village of Furat near the airport, in what residents said was a barrage of U.S. artillery and rocket attacks.

    Iraq said it captured five U.S. tanks and one helicopter in the battle. The United States has reported no casualties.

    [03] IRAQ MORE

    In Washington, the U.S. House of Representatives approved nearly 80 billion dollar to finance the Iraq war, reward allies, bolster anti-terrorism efforts and help struggling airlines.

    The dollar rose and oil prices slipped on news of the airport seizure but European stocks fell and safe-haven government bonds were mixed amid uncertainty about the next phase of the war.

    In a sign that Saddam's authority throughout Iraq may be crumbling, a senior Shi'ite Muslim cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, urged believers not to oppose invasion troops.

    U.S. military sources said tunnels had been found beneath Baghdad airport, apparently stretching back to the Tigris river.

    U.S. troops moved into the centre of the Shi'ite holy city of Najaf, searching for paramilitary fighters, and tightened their grip on Nassiriya, where they appeared to be in full control of bridges over the Euphrates.

    In the far south, British forces edged into the outskirts of Iraq's second city of Basra, capturing an industrial complex where Iraqi militia had spearheaded fierce resistance.

    The United States lists 54 dead and 12 missing since the war began. Britain says it has suffered 27 dead.

    Iraq has not given figures for military deaths, but Foreign Minister Sabri has said more than 1,250 civilians have been killed, a figure that could not be independently checked.

    [04] MIDEAST

    Israeli forces killed seven Palestinians in a fresh surge of violence in the West Bank and Gaza Strip today as the United States vowed to press ahead with a long-delayed "road map" for Middle East peace.

    Palestinian officials accused Israel of intensifying a crackdown while the world's eyes were turned to Iraq. Israel said its actions were justified by security concerns.

    U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, in Brussels to restore dialogue with opponents of the U.S. war on Iraq, told European leaders Washington intended to promote the "road map" peace plan "as it is" without amendments by either side, but insisted it could not be forced on the parties.

    In another development, Israeli forces captured a top Islamic militant today after emptying a West Bank refugee camp of its menfolk and searching house-to-house, a sweep attacked by Palestinian officials and human rights groups.

    Anwar Aliyan, 27, the head of Islamic Jihad's military wing in Tulkarm town, surrendered at his hideout in the local refugee camp. Israeli military sources said he and four others who were also captured were planning a car-bomb attack.

    [05] INDIA MING

    At least five people were killed and two dozen injured when an Indian Air Force fighter jet crashed today into three houses in a village in the northern state of Punjab.

    The pilot bailed out safely from the Russian-designed MiG-23 fighter which was on a routine training mission when it hit the houses in Mullanpua, just missing a nearby school.

    The single-seater plane crashed a short distance from where it had taken off at the Halwara Air Force Station.

    The reason for the accident was not immediately known.

    It was the third time since mid-2002 that an Indian combat jet has crashed into a residential area in the state

    India's air force, the world's fourth largest, has come under criticism for a woeful safety record.

    [06] UN DENKTASH

    The UN appeared rather indifferent to a package of measures Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash has proposed.

    Kofi Annan's spokesman Fred Eckhard said, when invited to comment on the matter that the the Secretary General received copies of both letters exchanged between Mr. Denktash and Mr. Papadopoulos.

    He said Mr. Annan's assessment of 11 March outlines the positions taken by the two leaders at The Hague. His report to the Security Council on the negotiation process which came to an end that day, will be issued on Monday.

    Mr. Eckhard added, "and that's all I have to say about those letters.''

    [07] ANNAN PAPANTONIOU

    UN Secretary General continues to believe that his peace proposal on a comprehensive settlement in Cyprus remains on the negotiating table, said Greek National Defence Minister Yiannos Papantoniou after meeting yesterday Kofi Annan in New York.

    He said that after having talked to the Secretary General, he got the impression that he strongly supports his peace proposal and wants it to remain on the negotiating table so that when the time is ripe, this plan will continue to serve as a basis for negotiation to find a just, viable and workable settlement in Cyprus.

    [08] US DENKTASH

    The US has stressed that the resumption of talks under UN auspices is the way towards a comprehensive settlement and noted that confidence building measures in Cyprus is a matter that can be taken up by the island's two communities, in the context of the good offices mission of the UN Secretary General.

    Commenting on a package of measures Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash has put forward saying they would help the peace process, the State Department said that ''we believe the way to a comprehensive settlement is for both sides to resume talks under the auspices of the UN good offices and on the basis of the Secretary General's very fair peace plan.''

    [09] DENKTASH NEW LETTER

    Turkish occupation leader, Rauf Denktash, has sent a new letter to Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos.

    In the letter, Mr. Denktash says that for there to be a solution there mut be mutual trust beforehand and calls on Mr. Papadopoulos to re-examine his proposals.

    [10] SRI LANKA ATTEMP MURDER

    Police is investigating an attempted murder this morning against a Sri Lankan housemaid by her husband in Nicosia.

    The suspect visited this morning his wife at the house where she is working in Agios Dometios and after a fight allegedly stabbed her. She was taken to Nicosia General Hospital and is now out of danger. The suspect fled the scene.

    Police has issued an arrest warrant against the Sri Lankan man.

    [11] WEATHER

    It will be clear but visibility will be reduced due to dust in the atmosphere. Winds will be north-easterly to south-easterly moderate, three to four beaufort and the sea slight to moderate in windward areas. Temperatures will be 27 C inland inland, 24 on the coasts and 20 over the mountains.

    Tonight the weather will be mainly clear with restricted visibility. Winds will be easterly moderate, four beaufort, becoming strong, five beaufort in windward areas. The sea will be moderate. Temperatures will fall to 12 C inland and on the mountains and 15 on the coasts.

    The depth of snow on Mt. Olympus is 40 cm and 10 on TRoodos Square.


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